Meet the team
David Fickling is a publisher of children's books, now at the helm of independent publishing company, David Fickling Books. For nearly twelve years he ran the company as an imprint, first as part of Scholastic, then of Random House.
Over the years David has published some extraordinary books. In his first job at Oxford University Press he signed up Philip Pullman's The Ruby in the Smoke, and has published Philip's books ever since, including the multi-million selling His Dark Materials trilogy. Later he set up Doubleday's program of original children's books: the launch list included Philip Pullman and Jacqueline Wilson (whom David teamed up with artist Nick Sharratt). David is the man behind both the Goosebumps and Horrible Histories phenomenon, he remembers being told kids don’t like history! In more recent years he published Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (bestseller and award winning play) and John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Jenny Downham’s Before I Die and Andy Mulligan’s Trash – all international bestsellers and big time Hollywood movies.
In 2012 he launched a weekly story comic for children called The Phoenix, filled with beautiful and original artwork, exciting stories and featuring no advertising. David Fickling Books works closely with The Phoenix, sharing a mission to create stories and excitement for all children.
Simon MasonManaging Director
Simon has worked in publishing since the mid 1980s, for OUP, Thames and Hudson, ABC-CLIO, Greenwood and Random House. At OUP he was publisher of the Oxford History of Art series, which has since established itself as the first-choice paperback series for students. At Greenwood he set up and ran the imprint Greenwood World Publishing.
Simultaneously he has pursued a writing career, and is the author of three novels for adults, five novels for younger readers and a work of non-fiction, The Rough Guide to Classic Novels.
Bella PearsonPublishing Director
Bella spent most of her childhood with her head buried in a book, which has stood her in good stead ever since. After working in an independent children's bookshop and completing an MA in children's literature, Bella joined David Fickling Books in 2001 and was lucky enough to work with him for the next twelve years on a huge number of wonderful and award-winning books for children.
She lives in Oxford with her family, which includes five guinea pigs (three useful small boys and two real ones).
Phil EarleSales and Marketing Director
Phil Earle began his career as a bookseller at both Ottakers and W H Smith. He then moved into his first publishing role at Random House Children’s Books, where he and David met. Phil was formally at Simon & Schuster and joined Bloomsbury in 2012 as Children’s Sales Director.
Phil is also the author of three novels for young adults, all published by Puffin: Heroic, Saving Daisy and Being Billy; he has been described as ‘a must-read author for today’s young adults’ by The Telegraph.
Bronwen BennieRights & Int'l Sales Director
Bronwen joined DFB in July 2015 after nearly 22 years at Random House Children's Books. She started her career there at a very young age of course and in that time developed a pretty good understanding of the rights business. She has a particular passion for stories, illustration and design so feels very lucky to have landed at DFB. Her cat Jeff, another passion, often assists her during the day.
Rosie Fickling has grown up in the world of Publishing and Stories, working for David during summer holidays, gap years and more. She has also trained as a Chef Patissier and has worked in respected london restaurants including The Ivy and Le Caprice, as well as apprenticing under William Curley Chocolatier. (During which time her kindle was kept stuffed with budding DFB manuscripts).
Anthony first worked for DFB during 2008-9, as part of the team working on The DFC weekly story comic. After working in commissioning for Oxford University Press for several years he is delighted to be back at DFB helping to turn fantastic stories into amazing books.
Carolyn McGlonePR Manager (on maternity leave)
Carolyn is proud to have forged a career out of her passion for children’s books, having worked alongside some of the UK’s most renowned and bestselling authors at Booktrust, The Reading Agency, Usborne Publishing and Penguin Children’s Books. She’s still pinching herself that she now gets to be part of the DFB family and help spread the love for their wonderful stories and authors.
Jasmine DenholmSales and Publicity Assistant
Jasmine started in the book industry in 2010 working at an independent bookshop at weekends and during the school holidays throughout her GCSEs and A Levels. After finishing her A Levels Jasmine continued to work at the bookshop whilst also reviewing books for her blog, completing a retail apprenticeship and running the social media for the Wenlock Poetry Festival. As a bookseller, she won a window display competition, was shortlisted for a British Book Industry Award, was chosen as one of The Bookseller’s Rising Stars 2016, and helped to create the BA Bookseller’s Network. She is thrilled to now be working at DFB, and we're thrilled to have her!
Alison GadsbyDesigner and Production Manager
Alison has worked as a designer for more years than she cares to remember but suffice to say there were no computers at her university when she completed her degree in graphic design. She started working with David at Scholastic where she was Art Director and designed amongst other things the series approach for Point Horror, Goosebumps, Horrible Histories and the Carnegie-winning Northern Lights by Philip Pullman. Alison then went on to be Art Director at Egmont and Random House where she was delighted to be working back with David.
She is now freelance and works at her computer until her 2 dogs tell her twice a day its time to go for a walk.
Alice CorriePicture Book Editor
Alice has worked in publishing since 2001, specialising in children's picture books. She spent much of that time at Random House but has been freelance since 2010 and has been part of the DFB team since 2011.
She has worked with lots of brilliant authors and illustrators including Nicholas Allan, Anthony Browne, Steve Cole, Richard Collingridge, Jan Fearnley, Sue Heap, Mairi Hedderwick, Janey Louise Jones, Sarah McIntyre, Kristina Stephenson and many more. While at Random House Alice also signed up the spooktacular Spooky Spooky House by Andrew Weale and Lee Wildish, winner of the Red House Children's Book Award, 2013.
Picture of Alice by DFB artist Sarah McIntyre
Ness WoodBook Designer
Ness is a book designer with over twenty years experience who has worked with DFB for much of that time. She is the creator of many successful designs, including: A Boy and A Bear in a Boat (Branford Boase Award), Morris the Manky Monster (Sheffield Children’s Book Award), Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates (Roald Dahl Funny Prize) and The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon by Mini Grey (Kate Greenaway Award). She has taught publishing in Ethiopia with the British Council, been a Ragazzi Award judge at the Bologna Book Fair and is also a design historian, currently working on her PhD.
Picture of Ness by Nick Sharratt (she also has her first aid badge)
Sarah CaroNon-Executive Director
Sarah Caro has worked with books for over twenty years, first as a bookseller then as a sales rep and as a publisher of books and journals at Longman, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Profile Books, John Wiley & Sons and Princeton University Press. Although she always tells young people wishing to get a job in publishing they should never say they love books in interview she has to admit she does love them and has a house jam packed full of them, just about making room for husband, kids and dog as well.
Chris WoodcockNon-Executive Director, Senior PR Adviser
Chris is a highly experienced communications professional who has championed client servicing standards and creativity, coached senior business figures and run award-winning teams, as well as her own successful consultancy businesses. She is a former press journalist, regional theatre critic and arts correspondent.
Her passion to combine creativity with feasibility has been applied to international assignments in many shapes and sizes, varying from colourful consumer brand launches to complex business-to-business programmes and charity assignments. Her work has won awards and been acclaimed by the PR industry.
Today, she works with a select group of clients, sometimes in a Non-Executive Director role, to advise on and steer business and communications decisions and programmes.
Linda has been reading for DFB since July 2002. One of the first manuscripts she was sent to report on was John Dickinson’s The Cup of the World. Since then she has worked on many other exciting stories including John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Andy Mulligan’s novel Trash.
From the 1980s she has worked in education, as a storyteller, and has established and run creative writing groups with adult and younger learners. She has a Masters in Creative Writing and Personal Development from the University of Sussex and has published both fiction and non-fiction. And she reads and reads and reads...
Robin ThornesTechnical Director
In the 1980s Robin worked for the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, where he piloted the computerisation of the national list of historic buildings. From 1994 to 1999 he worked for the J Paul Getty Trust as a project coordinator. In 2000 he joined the Daily Mail Group as Technical Director of Metropress Ltd.
He is also a writer, and has published a number of books on social and economic history.